Etymology, meaning, and usage of Raksha Bhandhan

Etymology, meaning, and usage of Raksha Bhandhan

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, 2008, the Hindi word, rākhī derives from the Sanskrit rakṣikā, a join: rakṣā protection, amulet ( < rakṣ- to protect + -ikā, diminutive suffix.)

1829 The first attested use in the English language dates to 1829, in James Tod's, Ann. & Antiq. Rajasthan I. p. 312, "The festival of the bracelet (Rakhi) is in Spring ... The Rajpoot dame bestows with the Rakhi the title of adopted brother; and while its acceptance secures to her all the protection of a ‘cavaliere servente’, scandal itself never suggests any other tie to his devotion."

1857, Forbes:

Dictionary of Hindustani and English Saluno: the full moon in Sawan at which time the ornament called rakhi is tied around the wrist.

1884, Platts:

Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English راکهي राखी rākhī (p. 582) H راکهي राखी rākhī [S. रक्षिका], s.f. A piece of thread or silk bound around the wrist on the festival of Salūno or the full moon of Sāvan, either as an amulet and preservative against misfortune, or as a symbol of mutual dependence, or as a mark of respect; the festival on which such a thread is tied—rākhī-Bandhan, s.f. The festival is called rākhī.

1899 Monier-Williams:

A Sanskrit–English dictionary Rakshā: "a sort of bracelet or amulet, any mysterious token used as a charm, ... a piece of thread or silk bound around the wrist on partic occasions (esp. on the full moon of Śrāvaņa, either as an amulet and preservative against misfortune, or as a symbol of mutual dependence, or as a mark of respect".

1990, Jack Goody

"The ceremony itself involves the visit of women to their brothers ... on a specific day of the year when they tie a gaudy decoration on the right wrists of their brothers, which is at once "a defence against misfortune, a symbol of dependence, and a mark of respect."

1965–1975, Hindi Sabd Sagara:

राखी १ "राखी १— संज्ञा स्त्री० [सं० रक्षा] वह मंगलसूत्र जो कुछ विशिष्ट अवसरों पर, विशेपतः श्रावणी पूर्णिमा के दिन ब्राह्मण या और लोग अपने यजमानों अथवा आत्मीयों के दाहिने हाथ की कलाई पर बाँधते हैं।

(That Mangalsutra (lucky or auspicious thread) which on special occasions, especially the full moon day of the month of Shravani, Brahmins or others tie around the right wrist of their patrons or intimates.) From: Dasa, Syamasundara. Hindi sabdasagara. Navina samskarana. Kasi: Nagari Pracarini Sabha, 1965–1975. 4332 pp.

1976, Adarsh Hindi Shabdkosh

रक्षा (संज्ञा स्त्रीलिंग): कष्ट, नाश, या आपत्ति से अनिष्ट निवारण के लिए हाथ में बंधा हुआ एक सूत्र; -बंधन (पुलिंग) श्रावण शुक्ला पूर्णिमा को होनेवाला हिंदुओं का एक त्यौहार जिसमे हाथ की कलाई पर एक रक्षा सूत्र बाँधा जाता है.

(transl. Raksha (feminine noun):

A thread worn around the wrist for the prevention of distress, destruction, tribulation, or misfortune; -Bandhan (masculine): "a Hindu festival held on the day of the full moon in the month of Shravana in which a Raksha thread is tied around the wrist.)[

1993, Oxford Hindi–English Dictionary

रक्षा बंधन: m. Hindi, the festival of Rakshabandhan held on the full moon of the month of Savan when sisters tie a Rakhi (Red Thread) on the arms of their brothers and receive small gifts of money from them.

2000, Samsad Bengali–English Dictionary

রাখি rākhi: a piece of thread which one ties around the wrist of another in order to safeguard the latter from all evils. ̃পূর্ণিমা n. the full moon day of the month of Shravan (শ্রাবণ) when a rakhi is tied around the wrist of another. ̃বন্ধন n. the act or the festival of tying a rakhi (রাখি) around the wrist of another.

2013, Oxford Urdu–English Dictionary

راکھے ra:khi: 1. (Hinduism) (i) rakhi, bracelet of red or yellow strings tied by a woman round the wrist of a man on a Hindu festival to set up brotherly relations. بندھن- – Bandhan: festival of rakhi.